Microsoft, Yahoo! jostle for US search share

Google is the undisputed king of search in the United States.

But who's number two?

Yahoo! has long held that position but Microsoft has been creeping up and may even have leapfrogged the Sunnyvale, California, company in a competition whose goal is to turn more Internet searches into more advertising dollars.

According to The Nielsen Co., Microsoft, led by new Web search engine Bing, overtook Yahoo! for the first time in August to make it the number two search service in the United States.

Another digital tracking company, comScore, disagreed, however, releasing August search share figures just days after Nielsen's that had Yahoo! still firmly in second place.

According to Nielsen, Microsoft's Bing, MSN and Windows Live had a 13.9 percent share of US search volume in August while Yahoo! had a 13.1 percent share.

ComScore, for its part, said Yahoo! accounted for 17.4 percent of the US search market in August and Microsoft 11.1 percent.

Both click-counters agreed that Google remains the dominant player with a 65.1 percent search share in August according to Nielsen and a 65.4 percent share according to comScore.

So who's right - Nielsen or comScore - when it comes to the battle for second place?

"I couldn't say one's more accurate than the other," said Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of SearchEngineLand.com, a blog devoted to search.

"They've got their own formulas," Sullivan told AFP. "They both have their own ways of measuring exactly what they consider a search to be. For example, comScore will not consider anything that happens on a map page to be a search."

Sullivan said what's important for him is "not whether the numbers are exactly the same but whether or not the trends tend to be the same.

"It's not really 'Is Bing higher than Yahoo!?' but 'Is Bing continuing to close the gap?"

By that measure, Bing has made steady strides since it was launched in June last year, good news for the Redmond, Washington-based company founded by Bill Gates and better known for its ubiquitous software.

"You've got Microsoft, this big, huge powerful tech company, that's been trying to be the number two in search for a long time and they're finally getting there," Sullivan said.

"Part of the reason why you've seen them become successful in this way is that they found a branding (with Bing) that people could understand and latch on to," he said.

"At the same time, you have Yahoo! going through the opposite in some ways," Sullivan said. "They are not positioning their service as what would seem like a competitor to Google."

Microsoft and Yahoo! reached an agreement last year which calls for Bing to eventually power searches at all Yahoo! websites - although for advertising purposes their search share will continue to be calculated separately.

While Sullivan said it's difficult to precisely determine the value of a percentage point of search, it's a high-stakes game.

"The overall thing is the more that you can grow your share the more likely you're going to be able to tap into some of the millions and billions that Google makes off of ads," he said.

While Google can be expected to rule the search market for the foreseeable future, Sullivan said the Internet titan could see a mild erosion in its share in the short term, the result, ironically, of its own innovation, a product called "Google Instant" unveiled earlier this month.

Google Instant suggests results as a user types a query in the search box and displays them on the same page, eliminating the need to return to the search box if the initial query was unsatisfactory.

"You're only going to register one search under this existing system," Sullivan said. "So what could happen is Google's share could come down."

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

    £28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

    C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

    C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

    £45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

    Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

    Day In a Page

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference